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US Seeks Appropriate Venue to Discuss N. Korea's Uranium Program Updated: 2011-02-03 00:00:00 KST

US assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell told reporters Wednesday that Washington is working closely with its allies in seeking an 'appropriate venue' to discuss North Korea's uranium enrichment program.
Campbell saidthat the international community has made it clear that North Korea's uranium program or any nuclear program undertaken by the regime is in violation of its international commitments and obligations including the 2005 joint communique and UN Security Council provisions.
The secretary also said that the essential first step in any process of re-engagement with North Korea requires a true and significant South-North dialogue adding that Washington welcomes the upcoming inter-Korean working-level military talks.
Campbell added that the US wants to see a sincere commitment to a variety of steps from North Korea, including the renunciation of its recent provocative actions before it allows the long-stalled six-party talks to resume.
Meanwhile, Campbell reiterated that Washington does not have any immediate plans to provide food aid to the North despite reports that the country is suffering from severe food shortages.
Food aid was suspended in 2009 when North Korea refused to issue visas to Korean-speaking monitors, whose mission was to assure that the food was not funneled to the military and government elite.
Meanwhile, speaking at a separate press briefing State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said that transparency in the distribution of food aid should be secured adding that if food is being diverted from the North Korean people to the government, the US is prepared to pull the plug on the aid program.
Kim Na-ri, Arirang News.
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